“There is a massive shift in geo-political power taking place right now globally,” said Alec Ross, former Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State and an expert in geopolitics of cybersecurity. Most people think power is going toward Asia, but Ross does not think power is moving that way. He thinks power is moving in all 196 countries from traditional hierarchies to individuals and to networks of individuals. “No longer can seven men determine the futures of billions of people,” said Ross. This is good because geo-political power is distributed from the few to the many. It is bad because it makes problem solving very difficult.
The United States has had trouble adjusting to this shift. The US is still indispensable, but there is very little it can, and should, do on its own anymore.
“Land was the raw material of the agricultural age. Iron was the raw material of the industrial age. Data is the raw material of the digital age. Ninety-percent of data on the earth was produced in the last two years. This contributes to our promise and to our peril,” said Ross. With these oceans of data, industries will grow and new industries will develop.
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